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Getting your slate roof repaired

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Mika, Staff Writer

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Slate roofs last between 80 and 100 years on average. If you consider how much bad weather an average roof goes through in its lifetime, it’s no wonder that occasionally a roof repair will be needed. Ideally, you should check your roof at least once a year, in addition to looking out for any broken or loose slates on the ground. 

A professional roofer is the best person to call if you notice any signs of damage, as not only does repairing a roof require a lot of skill, but it can also be highly dangerous to do so without the right tools or expertise. Here is what the process involves to tell you more. 

Identifying the problem

Your roofer will work to identify the cause of the problem by heading up on the roof to inspect it. With slate roofs, in particular, a broken, slipped or completely detached slate are the most common call-outs for roofers. The thickness of a piece of slate is less than other roof tile types, which can make it easier for sections to chip off over time. 

Matching up the slate

If any pieces of slate are missing then they will need to be replaced. Slate roofs are often sourced from local quarries. It’s not always possible to match the slate exactly especially for older roofs whereby the quarry is no longer in operation. That’s why the goal is to choose a slate that is as close as possible in appearance so that it blends seamlessly.

Removing any damaged slates

Roof slates are layered on top of each other. This makes them a lot larger than they appear because most of the slate is sitting underneath the slate above it, rather than being fully visible. So when it comes to removing any damaged slates, the entire slate needs to be removed. 

To remove a slate, your roofer will use a tool to dislodge the nail holding the slate in place. Then they’ll slide the new piece of slate in, ensuring it’s nailed down or bonded to the roof properly. 

For minor damage, it’s sometimes possible to glue the pieces of slate back together, using roofing cement. Be aware though that this is considered a temporary fix until you get your roof replaced. 

Roof Repair or Roof Replacement?

If quite a few of your roof slates are loose, damaged or missing you should consider whether a full roof replacement, rather than a roof repair is the best course of action. Roof repairs can become very costly if they are needed repeatedly. Plus, each time a slate falls off or cracks, it’s exposing your property to moisture which can interfere with the roof joists and cause leaks inside your home. 

Internal damage to your property

In an ideal world, you will get your roof fixed as soon as you notice a problem. Depending on the severity of the issue and how long you waited to get the roof patched up, it’s possible internal damage has occurred. If so, you’ll also need to consider any internal works such as plastering and painting, especially to your ceiling. 

While you’re up there…

Your roof needs to have all its tiles in place correctly to effectively drain rainwater away. However, many property owners forget to clean and maintain their gutters too. If that sounds familiar, then it’s a good idea to schedule a gutter clean in addition to your roof repair, so that your external drainage mechanisms will have no further issues. 

To sum up

Slate roofs add charm to a property, but like any other roofing material will need repairing every once in a while. Be sure to keep an eye out especially if you notice any missing slates on the ground or if you have water coming in through the ceiling. 

Whatever the nature of your roof repair, find trusted local roof experts on Bark to get it sorted.

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